Procol Harum

Procol's Ninth

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For their ninth album, Procol Harum turned to production by the veteran songwriting team of Leiber and Stoller, who had written the first single ("Poison Ivy") by Procol predecessor band, the Paramounts. Though the band is in top form (especially drummer B.J. Wilson) and despite a strong start (with the exquisite "Pandora's Box," a U.K. hit), the album largely runs out of steam by side two. Too much of the Brooker and Reid material is competent rather than exciting. Likewise, Procol fails to render memorable versions of two cover songs, Leiber and Stoller's "I Keep Forgetting" or the Beatles' "Eight Days A Week." Most of this album's best material can be found on the Chrysalis Years collection. [Grand Hotel and Procol's Ninth were later re-released as Cornerstone, a budget double album.]

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